Monday, August 8, 2011

Chocolate Chip Swirl Coffeecake

I have not dealt with pastry that much and this recipe was difficult to form in the beautiful braid as the instructions stated.  One of the issues was that the filling kept falling out as you braided it.  I do not see how it couldn't since it was sliced open in the top prior to braiding.  It also did not help that I used chocolate disks instead of chips.  Anyhow, I have since found better instructions which still gives you a pretty loaf without all the difficulty.

The two things I did like about the recipe is that the yeast dough is easy to make and requires no kneading.  Also, the blend of flavors lends itself to something that is good at any time of day, not just breakfast.  I think that the filling for this cake is well balanced.  I do not like a lot of chocolate with bread, but this cake did meet my approval.

Below is the recipe with better instructions on how to form the cake/loaf.  The yeast dough does require an overnight rise, so start the day before you would like to serve this.

Chocolate Chip Swirl Coffeecake
courtesy of 365 Great Chocolate Desserts

Ingredients/Yeast Dough
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
3 eggs (room temp)
1 envelope (1/4 oz) yeast
1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter, cubed
4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups toasted and chopped walnuts
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tbs plus 1 1/2 tsp orange zest
6 oz or 1 cup semi-sweet choc chips
6 tbs butter
3/4 cup brown sugar

To make the dough, fill a cup with warm water and then sprinkle over the yeast.  Stir to dissolve and set aside.

Place a saucepan over high heat and add the milk.  Once it comes to a boil turn down to low and add the butter, salt and sugar.  Stir until butter is completely melted and remove from heat.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, whisk all the eggs together.  Then pour 1/3 of the milk mixture into the eggs and whisk for 30 seconds.  Continue the same process until all the milk is mixed in.  Take out a wooden spoon and beat in the yeast mixture until well blended.

Blend 1 cup of flour into the batter until no dry spots remain.  Continue adding flour in intervals until all is blended.  Dough will still be sticky, so flour your hands and form into a ball inside the bowl.  Grease top of dough and place plastic wrap over dough.  Then place aluminum foil over the top of the bowl and place in fridge overnight or up to 2 days.

The next morning, take dough out of fridge and punch down.

Mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, zest and walnuts in a large bowl. Melt butter in a microwave and stir into nut mixture.  Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Then flour a large surface and using a rolling pin, roll out dough to form a 8X22 inch rectangle, with a 22 inch edge closest to you.  Sprinkle the nut mixture evenly on the surface of the dough, leaving 1/4 of an inch border on three sides and 1/2 inch border on the 22 inch edge furthest from you .  Then sprinkle chocolate chips over nut mixture, leaving the same borders. Press the filling lightly into the dough.

Starting from the long side closest to you, roll up to form a jelly roll. Moisten end edge and pinch to seal.  Stretch edges to even out the tube if necessary. Then cut long tube into 2 pieces with each piece being 11 inches long.  Carefully lay each piece side by side and twist one over the other, braiding the tubes.  Bring each end of the braid around forming a circle or wreath and seal the ends.  Transfer wreath to prepared baking sheet, placing seam side down.  

Then cut slits in the top of each braided loop section about 2/3 deep, pushing slightly to open, exposing the filling. After the slits are cut, cover lightly and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40-50 minutes. 15 minutes prior to rise completion, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

When rise is completed, place baking sheet in oven and bake cake for  20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm or at room temperature.